Fairy prions find home on Mana Is
Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner has welcomed the introduction this month of 100 fairy prion chicks to Mana Island.
‘‘Fairy prions are a keystone species for island ecosystems,’’ she said.
‘‘The fairy prions will provide a crucial boost to Mana Island’s ecosystem and I look forward to hearing about the success of these birds making the predator- free island their home.’’
The translocation project is a community partnership between the Department of Conservation, Friends of Mana Island, Ngati Toa, Ngati Koata, and sponsors OMV.
Mana Island is a Scientific Reserve managed by DOC.
‘‘ This is another example of the Department of Conservation successfully partnering with organisations and volunteers who have a shared vision for con- servation of our natural resources. The chicks arrived at Mana Island and were transferred to their specially constructed nesting houses, which will help them settle into their new home.
‘‘ The project will involve 200 fairy prion chicks being moved from Stephens Island in the Marlborough Sounds to Mana Island, 100 now and another 100 in 2016.’’
The fairy prion is one of New Zealand’s most abundant seabirds.
They are commonly seen in exposed coastal waters in New Zealand and in the south-west Pacific region.
‘‘Thousands of volunteer hours have been spent planting over 500,000 trees, raising funds, installing nest boxes, monitoring birds, and removing weeds from the island. I commend the volunteers on their efforts to make this translocation possible.’’